Mayor Kevin Faulconer and two councilmembers joined city workers Friday in efforts to clean up homeless encampments around the San Diego River amid the hepatitis outbreak.
Crews from the city’s Environmental Services Department cleared the riverbed of trash and debris while the San Diego Police offered shelter opportunities and supportive services to homeless individuals. County health officials provided onsite hepatitis A vaccinations.
“We are committed to beating hepatitis A and doctors are clear that starts with vaccinating our most at-risk residents and keeping public areas clean. I am working with county nurses to bring vaccinations directly to homeless individuals and today we’re clearing debris to keep the riverbed clean,” Faulconer said.
“This is going to help stop the spread of the virus, protect our most vulnerable residents and restore our natural habitat. Our sanitation efforts will continue for as long as needed to address this public health emergency,” he added.
“The San Diego River is a sensitive wetland that must be protected,” said Sherman. “For their own health and safety, it is vitally important to remove homeless encampments from the river and offer individuals the help and services they need. This action is an important first step.”
The riverbed cleanup is the latest effort by the city to eradicate the virus from public areas. The city has expanded 24-hour access to public restrooms near large homeless populations, while the county has installed 63 handwashing stations.
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